Dutton, Feb 2008, $26.95
When lawyer Charlie Bowen suddenly vanishes Attorney Dismas Hardy agrees to complete his missing peer’s cases. He assumes this will prove easy until he realizes that Charlie was about to file an appeal of an obvious murder conviction. In 2005, Evan Scholler was convicted of killing former SEAL Ron Nolan in spite of being defended by top lawyer Aaron Washburn.
Hardy learns from Police Detective Abe Glitsky that the two men met in Iraq where Scholler was serving as a lieutenant in a National Guard unit and Nolan was a contract guard working Allstrong Security. Back in America Nolan seduced Scholler's ex-girlfriend and caused an incident that left Scholler brain damaged and much of his team dead. Scholler publicly vowed to kill his former friend. The appeal looks hopeless until they begin to uncover proof that Nolan was involved in killing other Americans.
BETRAYAL is a fascinating timely thriller that is incredible when it looks into the legal accountability of contract guards in a war zone and into the post traumatic stress including survivor guilt of returning veterans especially those suffering physical injuries. While a legal thriller, interestingly the court room drama though well written takes a back seat on the docket to the Iraq War legal and medical issues. John Lescroart is in top form with the return of Dismas Hardy, who is terrific in this tale as he enhances the best segues, which occur ironically when he is off page.